Summary: We live in a world which lack integrity. In this world it is so important for the church to display integrity, but what is integrity? and ho can I display it in my own life?
“A Closer Look: Integrity”
We live in a world which lacks character and integrity and in a world like this the church does not stand out as a group of people who have integrity. As you look across the world you can see that it is integrity starved. From the White House to Hollywood, we have seen that America has very little integrity. What about us as the church? Where do we fall into the picture?
Documented in a book by James Patterson and Peter Kim, the Day America Told the Truth, (1991), Americans were asked: “What are you willing to do for $10,000,000?”
Would abandon their entire family (25%)
Would abandon their church (25%)
Would become prostitutes for a week or more (23%)
Would give up their American citizenships (16%)
Would leave their spouses (16%)
Would withhold testimony and let a murderer go free (10%)
Would kill a stranger (7%)
Would put their children up for adoption (3%)
Don’t you want to be a people of integrity like God calls us to be?
Integrity is who we are when no one else sees what we are doing. It is easy for us to come to church Sunday after Sunday and be religious and say and so religious things. It is easy to say, “Amen” and “brother”, but where there real difficulty lies is living out our faith day after day when we are all alone. Integrity shows us where our hearts are. It does no good to just act or play church. I believe that there are a lot of Christians who are just good actors. There are people who put on a show when they are around Christian people, but then they become just what the world is when they are in the world. Those people are just what Jesus called the Pharisees, whitewashed tombs who make the outside look good, but are dirty on the inside. Are you a whitewashed tomb? Are you putting on an act? I believe that there are some people in the church who are putting on the best performances of their lives. I hope that your faith is real and that you are not just playing Christian, but have truly been changed by the gospel and grace of Jesus. I hope that when you are away from the church and away from Christian people that you live a life of integrity.
In a world which is not concerned about the way that we live and how we live, we have more need to live a life of integrity. You may think that no one knows what you do sometimes and it does not hurt anyone so it is alright. Many people think that the only way that you sin is if others are hurt by it. The truth of the matter is that even if no one sees your sin, or the things that you do, God does. God sees all and we must give an account to him for everything that we do. God will one day expose all of our sin and bring it into light. We cannot hide sin from God and what more reason to live a life of integrity. Perhaps the world does not care what we do, but God does.
I hope that we all want to live lives that please God, not just in the sight of men, and to gain respect, but because we really want to please God.
Joseph is a great example of integrity in his life.